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   Re: [xml-dev] RE: Schema vs Schema-free (was: RE: [xml-dev] XML Binary C

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At 9:10 PM -0400 4/13/04, Rich Salz wrote:

>Parts of X.fws concern me -- I am thinking of the round-trip from
>XML for something like <error-rate>.500</error-rate> going to a
>local number, out via ASN.1/DER as an IEEE float, and back.  Along
>the way it's all too likely to end up as .5, which will break my
>digital signature -- and quite rightly, since trailing zero's are
>semantically significant.

Or worse yet, sending out <error-rate>.400</error-rate> and having it 
come back as <error-rate>.400000001</error-rate>, especially if .4 
happens to be the boundary between an acceptable and unacceptable 
error rate.

As a practical matter, data will be mistyped. I see this in databases 
to this day. I still remember the student directory back in college 
that gave everyone in New Jersey a four digit zip code (because New 
Jersey zips start with 0). Text is more robust against such a human 
error and misdesign than binary formats are.

   Elliotte Rusty Harold
   Effective XML (Addison-Wesley, 2003)


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